Hello future readers!
Yesterday in the rec hall, there was a sign-up sheet for horseback riding! Since there is only 1 horse, it would be first come, first serve in groups of 4. I actually made it into the first group, along with Lisa, Jennifer and Stephanie! Far out! I was so excited!
So this morning after breakfast, Kerry said she'd go get the horse and bring him back to the campground in a trailer. (She's old enough to drive!) You see, the horse doesn't belong to the camp. Kerry told us he belongs to a dude ranch further up the mountain. He's kind of an old horse, and he's really not as fast as the other horses on the ranch, so the ranch owner, Mr. Gage rents him out to camps and schools for pony pictures, carnivals and stuff like that. He didn't really like galloping; the most he could do was trot. That was OK with me. The only horses I've ever been on were the pony rides at the zoo and state fair by my uncle's house. I'm not sure how much riding the others have done, but since there are no stables in Springfield it couldn't have been much. Well, Kerry asked us to wear jeans and sneakers and meet her on the far side of the hiking trail, so she could bring the horse to us.
Suddenly Lisa yells, "Here comes Kerry!" We could see her coming towards us, walking the horse down the trail.
I asked her why she didn't just ride him. She told me she didn't want to tire him out because some of the other girls had signed up to ride him, too. Kerry told us his name was Cherokee, and he was a quarter horse. He was really big and so beautiful; chocolate brown with white feet and a white blaze down the front of his face. He reminded me of the pony "Blaze" in the "Billy and Blaze" books my mom reads to me sometimes. Kerry said he was really friendly, and that we should each pet him and talk nicely to him before our turns so he would get to know us and trust us. Lisa was first.
Kerry helped her into the saddle. She explained that when we wanted to made Cherokee walk, we should make a kissy sound, (like you're calling your dog), and say "Come on Cherokee". If we wanted to make him trot, we should make the same kissy noise and say "Giddy up Cherokee." If we wanted to stop, we should pull back gently on the reins and say "Whoa there, Cherokee." So Lisa started off. Kerry was right, Cherokee was really friendly and did what he was told.
It was my turn next. I walked up to him, rubbed his blaze, and said, "How you doing, Cherokee? My name is Julie. You're such a pretty horse." He actually winnied and nodded his head a little! Wow! What a smart horse!
Kerry helped me climb into the saddle. Was it ever high! I stroked his mane, made the kissy noise and said "Come on Cherokee." Slowly Cherokee walked down the trail.I kissed the top of his head, and made the kissy noise again. "Giddy up, Cherokee." I made him turn where Kerry marked the tree with a ribbon and we trotted back.
When I wanted him to stop, I pulled gently on the reins. "Whoa there, Cherokee." All too soon, my turn was over.
I didn't ever want to get off! Before I climbed down, I gave a kiss on his ear and told him I loved him. I don't know if he understood me or not, but my mom says even if animals can't understand all the words, they know the meaning behind them. I think Cherokee knew. Stephanie's turn was next.
Stephanie and Lisa felt the same way I did. Cherokee was a such a sweet horse. Jennifer took her turn.
She gave Cherokee a big hug!
After Jennifer had her turn, Kerry suggested we take a group picture with Cherokee. What a great idea! Jennifer stayed in the saddle while the rest of us gathered around the horse.
Kerry promised to give us all copies when she got them developed. I hope people still ride horses in the future. They're really groovy animals. I'm so glad I got the chance to ride one. Maybe when I grow up, I'll have a horse of my own. Until then, I think I'll ask my mom if we can visit Cherokee some time. That would be outta site! I hope he remembers me.
Until next time future readers,